Just as we saw with Gab, Parler, and Voat, the Freedom Phone is the latest attempt to build an alternate tech platform for right-wingers, but this time with a smartphone instead of social media. When the phone was announced back in March, its tagline was "a phone made for conservatives, by conservatives."
The Freedom Phone's feature set is about what you would expect. The company (which seems to also be called "Freedom Phone") claims to have made an "uncensorable app store" that won't ban Gab and Parler the way Google and Apple did. "FreedomOS" is a "free-speech first" operating system that the company claims to have developed, and it says the hardware is "comparable to the best smartphones on the market." Based on the information that Freedom Phone has released so far, almost none of that seems to be true.
- $500 version of $120 Umidigi A9 Pro
- The "PatriApp" Store is just the Aurora app client and the Play Store app catalog
- OS seems to be LineageOS with MicroG reimplementation of Google APIs
- Payment options shrinking as phone nears August release
Just a PSA that this phone looks like garbage, and those truly looking for a phone that offers freedom should look at the $150-$200 Pine phone.
- Bootable microSD and 16GB/32GB eMMC
- Kill switches for LTE, Cameras, Wifi/BT, and Microphones
- Six pogo pins allowing for custom hardware extensions
- Open Source Smart Phone Supported by All Major Linux Phone Projects
The FXTec Pro1-X (~$750)
- High end hardware
- Use de-googled Android or avoid Android and use Linux
- Collaboration of FXTec and XDA Developers
- Built in keyboard
The Librem 5 ($900)
- Built on PureOS, a fully free, ethical and open-source operating system that is not based on Android or iOS
- Hardware kill switches to physically disconnect WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular signal, microphone & camera
- The Librem 5 will not wholesale gather your data for profit. It will not lock you into an ecosystem that controls you. It will not require you to enter banking details to simply get an app from an app store.
I think the phones I mentioned would do better to achieve the goal of security, privacy, freedom, open source OS so code can be audited, no involvement from corporations focused on data collection, no reliance on APIs controlled by these corporations or their app ecosystems, and open hardware where custom software is encouraged.
The Pine phone is the most affordable and the most open with the lowest specs. The Pro1-X has the highest specs but lacks hardware kill switches. The Librem 5 seems to be in between these two.